How to Chose the Best Garden Seeds
Are you getting ready to order your garden seeds for the coming summer and you want to make sure you are ordering what you need? Here’s how I choose my garden seeds!
How to Choose the Best Garden Seeds
The winter is my favorite time to start planning my garden.
It’s cold and dreary but as soon as I look at those beautiful seed catalogs, thoughts of warm summer days with the birds singing and the bees buzzing are swirling around in my mind.
I’ve blogged about gardening on Little House Living before with a lot of my experience coming from my growing up years. Today I want to share all about seeds and how I pick them based off the past 15 years of gardening in my adult life and with the added experience of gardening in different climates.
For those of you that have incredible soil and can grow just about anything, this might not be your blog post.
For those of us that struggle with finding what we need to grow in our climate, I hope you find something helpful here!
First things first….
Look for a seed company that grows and harvests their seeds in your climate.
If you are in North Dakota and you choose a seed company in Florida, you probably won’t have much luck with their recommendations.
If you can’t find a seed company near you, at least try to find one in another state that would have a similar climate to yours. As far as I know, there are no seed companies in South Dakota, but I was lucky enough to find a few in neighboring states.
This year I ordered from:
Pinetree Garden Seeds (not close by but grown in Maine so somewhat similar growing zone)
Prairie Road Organics (North Dakota company)
Baker Creek Seeds (not close but ordered from them for reasons you will find below)
Meadowlark Hearth (Nebraska company)
High Mowing Seeds (also not close, but ordered from them for a different reason you will find below also)
Know your climate and order seeds that are good for your type of soil and atmosphere.
This is something I never did until recently. Sure I would pick tomato seeds that didn’t take 100 days to grow, but I never put more thought into it than that.
This year I ordered seeds that are good for a dry climate (as we are high elevation and tend to be wet in the spring/fall and dry in the summer). I also want to save water so picking things that like the drier soils will work great.
As much as I’d love to grow a big juicy cantaloupe here, it’s just not going to happen. Most cucumbers don’t do well in my soil or climate either.
The seeds that I ordered this year from High Mowing are specifically selected for their abilities to grow in a short, dry season.
Pick seed varieties that you know already do well.
This is the sole reason that I ordered anything from Baker Creek Seeds this year. I’ve had very poor luck with them over the past couple of years, however, last year I discovered that we loved the red beans and the purple peas that we tried from them. They grew very well for us and were so easy to pick.
You may want to select a couple “new” things to try to just test them and see if they will do well in your climate. I know that I can grow excellent green beans so changing to a red bean wasn’t much of a stretch. It’s always good to order those tried and true varieties that you know you can grow.
Only buy things your family will eat.
I’d love to grow more corn and I know that I can grow it successfully here, however, my husband isn’t a big fan.
Is it worth my time and garden space to grow something that my family won’t enjoy eating?
You don’t have to grow EVERYTHING in your garden. It’s ok to only grow what you really want to grow.
Select seed varieties based on what you want to do with them.
If you plan on saving seeds, you need to buy heirloom seeds.
If you want plants that will produce exactly what they are supposed to, hybrid seeds might be the way to go.
If you plan on selling something as organic, you may need to buy organic certified seeds.
If you plan on storing the fruits of your labor in a root cellar, you need to pick long storing varieties.
What I Ordered for 2022
I thought it would be fun to make a video of what I ordered for this summer and why. Check it out below!
I hope that this blog post helps you figure out what kinds of garden seeds that you need and want to plant for this summer!
If you need a little more help in planning and keeping track of all of your gardening, you will love my Gardening and Preserving Journal.
Or if you need a little help planning out not just your garden but all of your homestead day to day life, be sure and check out my printable Homestead Management Binder Pages.
What are you planting in your garden this year and where did you order from?
You might also enjoy:
How to Save Seeds
Free Seed Packet Printable
Repurposed Newspaper Seedling Planter
Starting Garden Plants From Seed; Growing Your Own Plant Starts
The Little House Living Show; Episode 017; The First Time Gardener